ECZ censures Sata for premature campaigns

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) have censured President Michael Sata for having embarked on a campaign trail in Malambo and Vubwi constituencies before the Commission could set the date of nominations and elections in the two constituences.

The Commission has said while President Sata could not be stopped from inspecting developmental projects in any part of the country, holding public meetings in areas where there were pending by-elections before the election date was announced was a breach of the electroal laws and guidlines.

ECZ public relations manager Cris Akufuna said in a statment that President Sata should have had his meetings in Malambo and Vubwi in-doors and not having public rallies.

Akufuna said in areas where there were by-elections all political parties including the ruling party should not conduct campaigns before the commission couls announce election dates and campaign period.

The Movment for Multi[party Democracy (MMD) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) had officially complained to the ECZ over President Sata’s total disregrd of the rules governing the electoral process in the country when he travelled to Malambo and Vubwi to launch campaigns for the pending by-elections which are being contested in the courts of law.President Sata who at the time had declared a seven-day national mourning in honour of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela went to Malambo and Vubwi where he held public rallies and introduced the PF adopted candidates even before they had their nominations validated and accepted by the electoral body.Akufuna said ECZ had forwaded the complaint from the MMD and the UPND to the National Conflict Resolution Management Committee and that it was resolved that while the President could not be stopped to inspect developmental in the country, the political meetings the President held in the two constituencies should have been conducted indoors.He said the MMD and the UPND had lodged a complaint regarding campaigns in Malambo and Vubwi constituences by President Sata before the commission could designate the campaign period in the areas.